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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Kung fu mantis vs jumping spider

4 minutes

Are the kung fu skills of a newborn orchid mantis a match for a jumping spider?

If a newly hatched orchid mantis isn’t both quick and cunning, it’s likely to end up an easy lunch for a larger predator. And since orchid mantises are unfussy carnivores that aren’t above cannibalism, even members of their own species pose an imminent threat. In this excerpt from BBC’s Life Story series, a newborn mantis must employ some spectacular inborn self-defence skills against a hungry jumping spider if it wants to survive its first day.

Narrator: David Attenborough

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau

Essay/History of Science
Against citizen science

It might style itself as a grassroots movement but citizen science is little more than a cheap land-grab by big business

Philip Mirowski